As the name suggests, liquid diets mean you consume food in the liquid form instead of solid. Losing weight is a very common thing in society today. People want to look in a certain way for health or appearance. Either way, a good percentage of people find themselves in this situation. Since people are always busy, they are looking for ways to lose weight fast that don’t involve them spending a few hours in the gym. Initially, liquid diets were prescribed by doctors to persons undergoing surgery, those recovering from injuries or those with digestive problems. Nowadays, people have begun using liquid diets for weight loss. But are they really effective?
What’s Liquid Diet and Its Types
Liquid diets are low-calorie foods that provide you with either some, most or all of your daily calories in the form of liquid instead of solid foods. You have an option of either replacing one or two meals a day with a liquid diet or go on a total liquid diet. There are several types of liquid diets and they include:
1. Detox Diets and Cleanses
This form of diet requires you to consume certain types of juices or drinks that apparently remove toxic material from the body. Examples are long term water fasting, master cleanses and various types of juicing program.
This program relies mostly on natural ingredients like juice from specific fruits and vegetable. This isn’t just like any other replacement shake. Since the program is restricted to certain foods, you might not obtain all the nutrients your body needs.
2. Meal Replacement
They involve meal replacement shakes that are consumed in place of solid foods. This type of liquid diet is often sold for weight loss purposes. Additionally, meal replacement shakes have low amounts of calories compared to a typical meal. Those using them are required to replace one or multiple meals each day. They contain basically all the nutrients required by the body for good functioning including macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). You will find most weight loss program using these shakes as a meal replacement for up to several months. ”
3. Medically Prescribed Liquid Diets
There are two types of medically prescribed liquid diets which include clear liquid or full liquid. Clear liquid requires that you consume things like water, apple juice tea, certain sports drinks, and broths. This diet is commonly prescribed before or after certain surgeries or in cases where one has digestive issues. While full diets are less restrictive compared to clear diet although they are prescribed for similar reasons. Full diets also allow the use of most beverages and foods that become liquid at room temperatures like syrups, some shakes, popsicles, and pudding.
Liquid Diets for Weight Loss
Liquid diets may or may not work as a weight loss option depending on how and which liquid diet you choose. They also have some flaws that you need to take into account before deciding to use them for weight loss.
Most Are Low in Calories
Liquid diets tend to go low on calories compared to solid foods. For example, a meal replacement diet contains a total of around 500-1500 calories. In a study on weight loss in 24 obese people that was carried out for 30 days, the participants consumed 700 calories per day from meal replacements but no solid foods. It followed a reintroduction of solid food over the next 150 days which increased the calories intake from 700 to 1200. It was found that this program reduced body fat from 33% to 26%.
The best thing with meal replacement program is that you can reintroduce solid foods after the liquid diet has been followed for one or three months. Other studies have shown that both liquid meal replacement with low calories (1200 to 1500) and even lower calories (500) per day can effectively help you lose weight. However, be careful since very low-calorie diets can lead to greater weight loss which increases the risk of gallstone in some people.
Replacing Certain Meals with Liquids Diets Can Help with Weight Loss
Also, an eight-year study with over 800 obese people has been carried out to determine whether liquid meal replacement promotes weight loss and weight management. This followed a reintroduction of solid foods. The results showed that women lost 43 pounds and men lost 57 pounds on average after one year. This results might appear impressive but don’t forget that the participants went through a long intense program under supervision.
Another study involving 9000 overweight and obese adults examined the effects of 500 calories liquid diet on weight loss. They only used the liquid diet as a source of calories for six to ten weeks followed by a nine months’ weight loss management. It was found that those who used liquid diet lost 25 pounds (11.4 kg) after one year which is more than that of those who ate solid food. Research shows that low-calorie diets consisting of both solid or liquid food are effective in weight loss.
Liquid Diets Aren’t for Everyone
While it’s possible to lose weight using a liquid diet, like those that use meal replacement, this program doesn’t suit everyone. Some people basically find replacing solid meals with liquid meals as a good way to cut on calories intake while others see this pattern of eating challenging. For some, substituting solid food for lower calories diet makes them feel hungrier hence they are advised not to use liquid diets for weight loss. However, if you still feel satisfied after eating a low-calorie food then this may be a worthwhile weight loss strategy.
For example, if you eat a lunch high in calories, replacing night’s dinner with a lower calories liquid diet can help with weight loss. However, if you eat a light healthy lunch, you may not benefit from switching to a liquid meal replacement. Liquid diets are only recommended for weight loss if you have a feasible strategy that will work for you. You need something that fits your preferences to increase the chances of long term weight loss success.
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